Increase your Medicare IQ
Cost options differ from one person to the next
When I meet with people for Medicare education, a large part of our conversation revolves around costs. Some people will continue to work and remain covered by group health care, and I also meet with people who have costly individual health plans.
For those on employer plans, part of the discussion involves what would be the "better way to go" - stay on the employer plan or switch to Medicare.
I'm noticing more companies putting more of the cost burden on employees for their insurance. It's important for me to know what a person pays for his or her current employer insurance and what portion of that is for his or her spouse.
I also need to know what type of deductibles and coinsurances are the employee's responsibility. This helps when we map out the cost for Medicare.
There are three parts to Medicare:
- Medicare Part B cost. (Most people will pay $134 per month, but this is rated up by income, so someone with a high income can pay more than that).
- Medicare supplement plan costs
- Medicare Part D drug plan premiums and drug costs
We go through a Medicare education piece, then compare the costs of Medicare with the cost of employee insurance.
Sometimes, it's cheaper for an employee to stay on the work plan, but for the spouse to go on Medicare.
When we are done, I feel the people walk away understanding Medicare and can start to plan for the costs of Medicare - now or in the future when they retire.
This helps them when meeting with an Everence advisor to discuss planning for retirement. I always say, "How can anyone make an informed decision without all the proper information on Medicare, its pieces and its costs?"
Maria Angelucci, CSA, CLTC, is a Financial Services Representative in the Everence office in Souderton, Pennsylvania.